A TRIBUTE TO SMT SARLA INDULAL SHAH
The mergence of Smt Sarla Shah with the Divine at the most auspicious moment , on the most auspicious day of Makarsankranthi ,2015, is not an event to mourn but a moment of inspiration to the whole world. A pointer to all women that even in this age of Kali, one can live by strictly adhering to the virtues and values of ideal womanhood for Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba always held that Ideal and virtuous women form the bedrock of a safe and sound society where man would have an opportunity to realise his inherent divinity which is the supreme goal of life.
Smt Sarla Shah was “Sarla Aunty” to many,” Amma “to millions and “Mummy” to the family. However, the most coveted title she got was from the Lord Himself was “Sarla Ma.” She indeed achieved the Divine status of being acknowledged by the Divine as an ideal woman, loving mother and gracious aunty.
The persona of Sarla Ma was indeed brilliant from all facets of life. As an individual, she was an epitome of perfection. Her immaculate sense of dressing adorning those beautiful sarees stood her apart as a symbol of elegance, modesty, beauty and divinity and was indeed a lesson to learn for all women fashionists that there is a way of Divine Dignity that woman must maintain. As an individual, her character was impeccable and resplendent with uprightness, discipline and obedience to her Master. She was brave to speak her conscience out but with love and compassion, qualities that endeared her to the Lord. She exhibited exemplary poise in both personal sorrow and joy signifying her true devotion to her Master.
As a mother, her maternal instincts knew no bounds. She showered her love profusely on her children, be it the son she lost at a young age or her daughter that grew up to be her main support or the son-in-law who became her son-in-love and in whose lap she preferred to breathe her last . As a wife, she played a great supporting role to the enigmatic husband , Shri Indulal Shah. Despite being an outstanding persona, Sarla Ma was humble in her support to her husband because for her family values were sacrosanct.
Despite fulfilling all her roles as a wife, mother and as the foundation of her family, she had the capacity to extend her love to society at large. From her days as a youth ,her sense of patriotism was immense. She chose to stand by the freedom struggle of Mahatma Gandhi and participated whole heartedly in the movement and was actively involved in the running of an underground Radio Station to support the freedom struggle. This bravado transformed into true Seva under the directives of the Divine Master, as she became the prime instrument to lay down the foundations of the Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Program in the world and became the universal mother to all Bal Vikas children of the world. She ceaselessly worked as the Editor of the Bal Vikas Magazine which was very dear to her heart till her last breath. She became the chosen instrument for the Master to flag off the Mahila Vibhag of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation.
Her life was indeed a reflection of her Divine Master. She lived her life and carried herself with such humility and modesty that she commanded great awe and respect from the Divine Master. It is now a part of Divine History that her sorrow and her happiness were spontaneously reflected by the Avatar of the Age. In fact, the Lord personally visited Sarla Ma in Mumbai to be by her side during her brief illness. This indeed is testimony of the ceaseless devotion and dedication of Sarla Ma to her Master where she finally merged to find her ultimate Peace.
SHRI NIMISH PANDYA
ALL INDIA VICE PRESIDENT
SRI SATHYA SAI SEVA ORGANISATION, INDIA.